Mac users love Apple’s special events. Today our favorite Mac maker took the wraps off a bunch of new Mac notebook models.
Less expensive, new manufacturing design, faster, more storage, new keypad, new displays, faster graphics performance. It’s not all good, bad, or ugly. There’s some beauty and plenty of missing pieces.
In summary, Apple introduced plenty. New MacBooks, new MacBook Pro, new 24-inch Cinema Display, upgraded MacBook Air. What’s not to like? Lower prices, more power, less weight, more cool, speedy graphics, enhanced chic.
The MacBook line is thinner, lighter, with an improved display, faster CPU, much faster graphics chips, a new glass Multi-Touch trackpad, all cast from a unibody slab of aluminum with beveled edges mildly similar to the MacBook Air.
The screen is a backlit 13.3-inch glossy LED. A new mini-display port will drive external displays.
Also retained is the slot loading SuperDrive, iSight camera. Airport Extreme, Bluetooth, Gigabit Ethernet, audio ports, microphone, five hours of battery life, two USB ports.
What’s missing? No Firewire ports on the MacBook.
The MacBook Pro gets a similar upgrade, a similar single slab of aluminum, the Multi-Touch glass trackpad, a 15-inch glossy LED backlit display, and all the usual goodies, but with more powerful CPUs, and more powerful graphics capability.
The MacBooks also get the ExpressCard slot, a Kensington lock slot, and a single—single, as in one—Firewire port (800Mbps).
The keyboard of both models is similar to the design first found in the MacBook Air, which also gets minor enhancements—more storage.
What’s missing? No Firewire ports on the MacBook models, and a single Firewire port on the Pro models. No Blu-ray DVD capability. Why? Steve Jobs says, in essence, it’s not ready for prime time.
Is Apple slowly moving Firewire, a technology that Apple created, out the door?
Also announced is a new 24-inch LED Cinema Display made specifically for the entire MacBook line. It looks like an iMac without the Mac. It comes with a built-in iSight camera, microphone and speakers.
In true Apple style, the new LED display has a slim profile power adapter to charge your MacBook while using the new display.
The Good? New environmentally friendly MacBook and MacBook Pro aluminum body. New Multi-Touch display. New entry level price tag for the MacBook. New, much faster graphics chips from NVIDIA.
The Bad? No $800 MacBook. The Ugly? No Firewire on the MacBook. No Blu-ray option. No matte displays (it’s all glossy, folks). Nothing new for the 17-inch MacBook Pro model.
The Beautiful? Apple’s first 24-inch LED Cinema Display at a modest price.
Obviously, there’s much to be excited about, but a few disappointments, too. One other disappointment and clarification: the low end MacBook, at $999, is still the old white MacBook sans aluminum, new trackpad, faster graphics. So, the entry level price tag is for the old version MacBooks, not the new ones which start at $1,299.